Willie Mitchell opens up about the Kings’ recent struggles

Willie Mitchell shared the following after the Kings morning skate in advance of tonight’s game vs. the visiting Chicago Blackhawks…

On what’s tougher..having to be paired again with Doughty or facing the Blackhawks tonight?

“(laughs) not trying to downplay Chicago or Drew, but both are extremely difficult. All kidding aside as it relates to Drew, I try to play to his strengths. We played in four on four situations and penalty killing when I first came here in 2010. I just let him do his thing to be effective. I do my thing which is to minimize the other teams top offensive players.”

Does this team need to change it’s approach to try and turn things around?

“I think you just have to stick with it and believe. We have a really good team in here and everyone knows that around the league. When you don’t score for a bit, sometimes, I’m not saying you doubt yourself but you can get a little frustrated. The difference between the teams that rally out of a down stretch is not to overthink it and chase the game. You don’t want to chase the game and sometimes you can work too hard and get yourself out of position and make uncharacteristic mistakes as a hockey club or doing things that we don’t ordinarily do. We play a tight defensive game and that is our strength. You look at our goals against, lowest in the league. That’s what we need to focus on is being a good checking team. When we are a good checking team, the offense will come to us. We won a Stanley Cup with that style. I don’t think it’s about squeezing our sticks to try to score and staying confident in our game and playing to our strengths.”

Was it nice to have a day off from the ice on Sunday?

“There is a physical element to days off cause it is a long grind and there is the emotional part because you invest so much into game day and if you don’t you are probably not getting the results so it’s always good to get away for a little bit.”

On the Kings’ recent struggles…..

“Everyone goes through it. It’s easy to say it’s been tough a tough stretch. the first part was tough but the last half of it we’ve been home enough I don’t want to use anything for an excuse. The bottom line is we need to find a way to win games right now and we are not doing that well enough. How we are going to do that is playing to our strengths like winning a 1-0 game, a 2-1 game, a real tight checking game and I think you have to start right there because otherwise the hill looks daunting like, oh, we haven’t scored a lot of goals and I think you win that and next everything starts to flow and you start to feel good and the rest of the goals will come. That’s what we have to emphasize in our room and not press to hard and just stick to that.”

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